After months of intense, grassroots push-back, opponents of the White House’s Common Core program won another big prize: Oklahoma. This week, the Sooners became the third state to officially dump the President’s education standards, complaining of federal overreach.
“President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core,” Gov. Mary Fallin (R) explained, “in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable. What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing, and teaching strategies.” And this time, the administration — the same one that claimed this is a state-led effort — bared its teeth.
Desperate to stop the bleeding on its pet project, the White House sent in attack dog Arne Duncan, America’s Secretary of Education, to chastise Fallin in a petty display meant to dissuade other states from following suit. “The Oklahoma example is a pretty interesting one,” Duncan told reporters yesterday. “Let me give you a couple of facts. I think sadly, this is not about education. This is about politics.” He launched into Oklahoma’s education statistics, blasting its proficiency in math and post-high school course studies.
Interestingly enough, the federal government is prevented by law from dictating curriculum — so they dictate “standards” instead. Arne Duncan is threatening Oklahoma. He says the federal education department “partners with” states. Some partnership. That’s like Putin “partnering” with Crimea.
Of course, the irony of Duncan’s statement is that Oklahoma is doing light years better than Washington, D.C., where taxpayers shell out nearly $30,000 per student — and 83% still aren’t proficient in reading. So Washington has the answers? In reality, they don’t even know the questions. Check out the facts on Common Core that the government doesn’t want you to know about in FRC’s new publication.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.
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